updated 09/19/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/23/2011 AT 10:30 AM ET
Ariel Winter isn’t shy when it comes to the opposite sex.
“I do like my boys,” the Modern Family actress, 13, told PEOPLE on the sitcom’s winning night at Sunday’s Emmy Awards. “I’m pretty smart with boys. I know how to handle them and I know what to do around them.”
Even though Winter is confident around males, her interest in dating brings out her mom’s protective side.
“If I go on dates, my mom is always with me,” she says. “She’s always there making sure I’m all right. Like if I go to see a movie with a boy, she’ll go to dinner next door.”
But when it comes to talking about dating to her dad, the two are on a don’t-ask-don’t-tell basis.
“My dad does worry, but he doesn’t know half the things,” Winter explains. “He’s just like, ‘Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me and it’s all right.’ ”